If your bathroom still has a water-guzzling toilet, you’re flushing hard-earned money and one of the planet’s most valuable resources down the drain.

Toilets last for decades and many Canadians with older homes still have ones that use 13 to as much as 30 litres of water per flush. These toilets can use almost seven times more water than is necessary for flushing. That's what makes replacing old toilets with efficient models such an eco-friendly — and potentially wallet-friendly — renovation.

With the average person flushing five times a day, toilets account for approximately 30 per cent of our daily indoor household water use. Growing populations are stressing the capacity of the infrastructure that brings water to our homes. What's more, water efficiency reduces energy and chemical consumption.

Efficient toilet options

People looking for efficient toilets have numerous options. High-efficiency toilets (HET) offer the best water savings without compromising flushing performance. A single flush HET must use 4.8 litres or less. But there is a growing trend to use dual-flush HETs where the full flush, for solids, will use up to 6 litres of water, but there is also a half-flush option for liquids.

Here's some great news: You can save water and money by taking advantage of municipal toilet rebates. Check with your municipality or local utility provider for the rebates they offer.

Finally, if you're concerned about the performance of a water-saving toilet, it may be because you remember the first generation, which often had to be flushed twice. By 2003, toilet manufacturers had resolved performance issues and today's efficient toilets feature very strong suction. You won't have to flush twice.